Low in calories and carbohydrates, tomatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals. A golden fruit! A medium-sized tomato contains:
Reaching their peak between July and October, field tomatoes grow in the sun and the wind. This makes for thicker skin than greenhouse tomatoes. Being exposed to the elements gives them a special flavour. There are hundreds of varieties of field tomatoes. They are perfect for making juice, puree, paste and sauce, not to mention the much appreciated tomato ketchup. They are often harvested mechanically.
Tomatoes are the most important greenhouse cultivation in Canada. Greenhouse cultivation enables the control of the cultivation environment so that flavourful tomatoes can be enjoyed throughout the year. Their uniform colour, round shape and firmness make greenhouse tomatoes easy to recognize. Their smooth skin is flawless and of better quality than that of field tomatoes. Always hand picked, greenhouse tomatoes are delicious when freshly sliced, in a salad or a sandwich, for instance.
Red, round and of various sizes depending on the season, these are the most common tomatoes. They are rich in lycopene and can be used in any dish, fresh or cooked. Since they are quite acidic, red tomatoes are best used for sauces and canning.
These are the sweetest and less acidic of all tomatoes. They are a Quebec speciality. In fact, Quebec is now the only pink tomato grower in all of America. Because of their low acidity, pink tomatoes should not be used for canning. They are to be eaten fresh, in a salad or a sandwich, or even stuffed.
They are especially loved for their beautiful colour that brightens any dish. Yellow tomatoes have hardly any lycopene, however, they do contain small amounts of beta-carotene. Their taste is similar to red tomatoes, but a tad sweeter and more subtle. These medium-firmness tomatoes are perfect for salads and appetizers — they also make delicious gazpachos.
Tomatoes on the vine
These tomatoes are sold on the vine in clusters of at least five fruit, therefore enabling the sap to continue nourishing the fruit. Since these tomatoes continue to ripen once picked, they have a richer aroma than those sold individually. They are ideal as appetizers or for decorating dishes.
Grape or cherry tomatoes
Small, sweet and juicy, these tomatoes measure between 2.5 cm and 3 cm in diameter. They come in a variety of colours (red, yellow, orange and purple) and are sold on the vine or in packs. They can be eaten as is, in side dishes and in salads — even fruit salads!
Italian or plum tomatoes
With their oval shape and their red colour, plum tomatoes are perfect for cooking. They have thicker skin, are denser and have less seeds than classic red tomatoes. Since they contain very little water, they are not very juicy and are easily seeded. They are excellent for passata, sauces and canning.